Maryland lost out on its biggest recruit in years when Joshua Kaindoh decommitted from the Terps on Monday. This was a huge blow for a team that thought it had made a major recruiting coup.
DJ Durkin’s staff made a splash by grabbing verbal commitments from four-stars Cam Spence and Kasim Hill earlier in the recruiting cycle, but getting Kaindoh on board brought this class from good to great.
This loss hurts. Kaindoh was as big a recruit as Maryland will ever get.
Kaindoh ranks as the No. 2 strong-side defensive end and the No. 26 recruit in the class of 2017. His 247Sports Composite ranking would have been the best of any Maryland player since Stefon Diggs.
Maryland desperately needs help on the defensive line, and Kaindoh absolutely would have provided that. But one player won’t change the complexion of a unit as much as Maryland needs.
The Terps have to shore up their defensive line in other ways. How do they do this?
Keep the recruits you already have. This is still a good recruiting class.
When one big-time recruit leaves, there’s always the threat that other blue-chippers could follow. Four-star defensive tackle Cam Spence, Kaindoh’s former teammate at IMG Academy, visited Penn State with him. It wouldn’t have been outlandish to think Spence was considering following his friend, but he seemed to put an end to any of that speculation shortly after Kaindoh’s decommitment.
Still Holding on Strong. Every Team rebuilds eventually....— Cam Spence (@Only1CamSpence) November 29, 2016
Spence is one of five remaining four-star recruits Maryland has verbally committed, along with cornerback Deon Jones, quarterback Kasim Hill, guard Marcus Minor and offensive tackle Jordan McNair. Each of those players received recruiting attention from schools more successful than Maryland, and each elected to stick with the Terps. Still, Durkin and his staff will surely be in contact with these guys to reaffirm that they’re all good.
One point that probably makes a difference here: each of these five players attends school in Maryland or D.C., so the Terps are right in their backyard. Kaindoh is currently at school in Florida, which puts him further out of reach. The local players can come to basketball games, or just come see the campus, without much effort. That’ll help keep them committed.
Kaindoh’s decommitment brings Maryland’s class ranking down from 13th to 17th. For Maryland, that’s still fairly incredible. For perspective: the Terps finished with the No. 49 class in Randy Edsall’s final full recruiting cycle.
Maryland will look for more defensive line recruits.
None of them are going to replace Kaindoh, but this team needs all the help it can get up front. If you can’t get a top-of-the-line talent like Kaindoh, your next-best option is to recruit several players for the position with the hope that one of them exceeds his ranking.
Maryland now has exactly one defensive end committed in the class of 2017: Baltimore’s B’Ahmad Miller. They’re chasing after a couple more, including Virginia’s Tyran Hunt. Michigan prospect Deron Irving-Bey is visiting Maryland this weekend, but experts have him deciding between Michigan and Michigan State. He’s not the type of player Maryland can count on anyway. Stealing recruits from the backyard of college football’s powers isn’t how Durkin is going to make his team — he has to keep the best recruits from fleeing the DMV.
Joshua Paschal is one guy to keep an eye on. He’s a four-star defensive end from Good Counsel who doesn’t seem too keen on Maryland. Maybe that’ll change now that he knows he doesn’t have Kaindoh in front of him. Maybe it doesn’t mean anything. But he’s probably the best defensive end this team could get at this point, so you can bet ace recruiter Aazaar Abdul-Rahim will be paying him another visit real soon.
This also means they could be keen on bringing in transfers to bolster depth here, but that market’s hard to figure out right now.
Keep trying on Chase Young.
Young, who’s teammates with uncommitted Maryland running back target Anthony McFarland at DeMatha Catholic, committed to Ohio State back in July. There’s no particular reason to suggest his commitment isn’t solid, but considering his proximity to campus, Maryland’s definitely going to keep in contact with him.
It’s a longshot’s longshot, but the potential payoff of having Young at Maryland is great enough that it’s worth it for the Terps to keep at him.